Chatham House appoints Rob Yates as the new head of the Centre on Global Health Security

Chatham House is pleased to announce that Rob Yates has been appointed as head of the Centre on Global Health Security.

News release Updated 28 June 2019 Published 27 June 2019 2 minute READ

He brings decades of experience as a health economist working in international development and health and is an internationally recognized expert on universal health coverage (UHC) and progressive health financing, operating at the highest political levels.

For the past five years, Rob has led the Centre’s work on Universal Health Coverage (UHC) as director of its UHC Policy Forum, which works on the political economy of UHC reform processes and advises political leaders and government ministries on how to plan, finance and implement national UHC reforms.

He has also worked closely with The Elders on presenting policy options on universal health reforms to heads of state across the world. Before leading the UHC Policy Forum at Chatham House, Rob was a senior health economist at the World Health Organization from 2011 to 2014, after moving from the UK Department for International Development (DFID), where he was a senior health economist. Prior to that, Rob was the deputy head of the Integrated UN Office in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He also spent five years working for the government of Uganda as a senior health economist, on secondment from DFID during the early 2000s.

‘I am delighted to welcome Rob Yates as the head of the Centre on Global Health Security. He will bring a wealth of experience to the role at a time of risk but also great opportunity in the sector,’ said Dr Robin Niblett, director of Chatham House. ‘Rob will continue to work on his own area of expertise – universal health coverage – while ensuring the Centre continues to address other major global health challenges that manifest themselves as foreign policy and international affairs problems.’

Rob replaces David Heymann, who retires from the role as the Centre marks its 10th anniversary but will remain involved in several of the Centre’s projects.

‘I would also like to pay tribute to David Heymann, who launched the Centre on Global Health Security in 2009 to examine key global health challenges in international affairs and world politics,’ Niblett added. ‘Without David the Centre would not have had the impact that it has and I am truly grateful for his hard work and achievements over the last 10 years.’

Yates takes up his post this week.

‘I am honoured to become the new head of the Centre on Global Health Security and build on the successes delivered by David Heymann and the team over the last decade,’ he said. ‘My priority as the new head will be to ensure that our research and activities have a real impact in accelerating progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals by focusing on improving health security and health coverage in countries across the world. Engaging in issues related to the political economy of health and health care reforms will be critical in achieving this impact.’